What it takes to be a Motorsport Photographer

Updated: Nov 12


Inigo Anton Test Driving A Formula Renault in Malaysia | Captured by Matthew Romualdez


Do you love Photography and love capturing unique, thrilling, and fast-moving subjects? Or maybe you love motorsports and would like to try holding the camera as race cars pass you at exhilarating speeds. Then maybe motorsports photography is the right thing for you! If you’re a passionate photographer who wants to take on something new and more extreme to capture in still frames, you can take your snaps to the next level by taking an interest in capturing intense motorsports action! Read on if you’re trying to learn more about what it really takes to become a great motorsports photographer.


Just like Matthew Romualdez who was born into a family of racers and motorsports enthusiasts, you can start by learning and loving the sport. Mr. Romualdez is someone who got into Motorsports Photography by chance. He originally bought his camera to document his daughter growing up. Once he translated his deep passion for motorsports into his photos, he got some pretty good results leading to praises which gave him more encouragement and opportunities to pursue this career/hobby. Now he’s a full-blown professional in his field, not missing the most important races held anywhere in the Philippines– Vios Cup, MSCC Mazda Cup, Rotax Max Challenge, you name it!


Matthew Romualdez is a dedicated motorsports photographer who flew to Singapore to capture one of the best races in the 2022 season of Formula 1.



Sergio Perez, race winner of the Singapore Grand Prix 2022 | Captured by Matthew Romualdez


Here’s what we learned from him:


Get To Know The Sport


According to Romualdez, you can begin by really getting to know sport. Because learning it can help you expect and know how to capture the action that you want. You’ll need to know what happens around the paddock and out on the track to know how to snap great moments and know how to be present when awesome photo opportunities appear right where you are. Of course, once you get to know the sport bit by bit, you’ll learn if you’ll be able to love it or not. It's really important that you love what you capture so you don’t get tired of it easily. You can ask around regarding what good races to watch so you can get into it more. Motorsports can provide a unique form of entertainment, both for the audience and shooter.


“Definitely love what you are doing and at least love the subject that you are shooting because it will translate to your images” Matthew Romualdez Professional Motorsports Photographer

Choose Your Weapon


Once you’re done learning and loving the subject, you can officially start by getting a camera. Mr. Romualdez advises that it doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it allows you to capture in burst mode. 7 FPS is the minimum, but anything higher would be great because you’ll be shooting out fast moving subjects.


As per the lens, you can prepare something that can capture a minimum focal length of 70-200mm because you’ll only be able to shoot out races in the sides of the tracks for safety reasons. Barriers and marshals won’t really allow you to get very close to the racetrack.


But in any case, whatever camera you have with you (yes, even your phone can work) would always be the best starting point. It is said around the world of Photography that the best camera is the one you have with you. Here's a photo of Lando Norris taken by a spectator at the 2022 Singapore GP using a regular Canon G7x.



Lando Norris | Shot on Canon G7x


Endurance Training Is Not Just For The Drivers


Another must have is that you should be physically fit since the tracks and venues for these events are made really wide and big and you’ll be carrying various heavy equipment like your camera and different lenses with you while running around and sometimes you even have to jump through barriers when trying to cover as much ground as you can and capture as much enticing actions that you could. That's why it's better if you start giving your fitness some attention! After all, even a professional like Mr. Romualdez carries all of his equipment by himself.


You’ll definitely exhaust yourself if you don’t prepare your body for the moments that you want to chase and capture.


Keep Your Water Bottle Handy


You don’t want to miss on the juiciest parts of the race, right? You’ll also be needing to stay hydrated. Being on track can get pretty hot since the entire place is filled with concrete or asphalt that reflects the heat back from the ground. That makes hot days extra hotter. So, it’s very much advised for you to carry at least a liter of water with you so you can fight the heat while getting the good parts of the race on track.


Your Safety Is Always Priority


Just like the professionals, as much as you want to get the best wheel-to-wheel action during the races, you should always prioritize your safety. Motorsports is inherently dangerous for everyone on the track, be it the racers, the marshals, and of course the photographers and videographers. So, you’ll definitely need to be extra careful since you’ll be putting yourself out there in harm's way while fast cars are just zooming all over the place.


This is especially true during rainy racing days where the tracks could be slippery. You should also be keeping the wildlife in check around you like snakes, bees and other creatures that might harm you since photographers are usually stationed in the side of the track where there can be areas that are unkept and have tall grasses and trees.


It sounds challenging, but capturing motorsports is not as hard as you think.



Axel Nocom at Rotax Max Challeng Philippines | Captured by Matthew Romualdez

“Just get on the track, bring a camera, bring a lens, and start experimenting. Don’t be afraid to fail while experimenting, just try and try again.” Matthew Romualdez Professional Motorsports Photographer


Stefan Ramirez at Seaoil Radical Challenge | Captured by Matthew Romualdez


If you want to know more about motorsports photography, there’s not a better way than getting to know the professionals themselves. Learn more about capturing exhilarating moments on the track and get right into the action by visiting Matthew Romualdez’ exhibit at the first ever Motorsport Expo in the Philippines this October 15-16, 2022 at Blue Bay Walk in Pasay City.


Connect with Matthew Romualdez:

Facebook: Matt Romualdez Photography

Instagram: mattmotorsportsphoto

Website: www.mattromualdez.com


Related:

Daniel Matsunaga, Troy Montero, Fabio Ide & other VIOS CUP Drivers Answer HARD BOILED Questions






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